REMARKS BY

PROF. LUCY W. IRUNGU,

VICE-CHANCELLOR

DURING THE TREE PLANTING

ON 20TH DECEMBER, 2018

Salutation

  • Members of management and Staff
  • Students Leaders
  • Students
  • Ladies and Gentlemen
  • Good Morning

Ladies and Gentlemen 

 

Trees play a major role in the ecosystem and environment hence should be given priority. We have witnessed the systematic destruction of forests through illegal logging in this Country. The disappearance of ozone layer maybe far-fetched but the destruction of the Mau forest should be an awakening alarm of our time. Currently many countries in Africa are grappling on how to deal with the diminishing tree cover and its twin adverse effect on the earth. We thank the government of Kenya for having made clear directives on planting trees by setting aside days for tree planting, the directive Machakos University has embraced and this is the reason why we are here today.

Since time immemorial, trees have provided human kind with essential and yet invaluable basic wants and needs. At the dawn of civilization, trees were thought to be the source of food and oxygen only, but as the human race multiplied, trees provided additional necessities such as shelter, medicine and fuel. Today, the true value and benefits of trees are innumerable. Their importance has continued to increase as more of their benefits are discovered on a daily basis. The irony is that instead of preserving trees we destroy them despite their immense benefits.

Before we plant trees, allow me to highlight a few points on the importance tree planting.

Biodiversity

If more trees are not planted in large numbers, the biodiversity phenomenon will be non-existent in few years to come.

As an entomologist will tell you, a single tree is said to be the home of hundreds of species of insects, fungi, moss, mammals, etc. Therefore, not planting trees will mean disaster for the living things that live on trees as their habitat.

Economic Value

By planting and preserving our forests job creation will be equivalent to jobs created in the mainstream white-collar jobs in the country. There will be jobs like arborists, loggers, researchers in the forest, the list is endless. Trees provide timber for building construction, furniture manufacture, and pulp to make paper.

Property Value

It is not a hidden fact that well maintained park of trees, flora and sauna is known to appreciate the value a piece of property anywhere in the world. According to the USA Forest Service, “Trees properly placed around buildings can tremendously increase their value in addition to providing air conditioning needs by 30% and saving 20-50 percent in energy used for heating.”

Climate

When we talk of trees affecting climate change on the earth, do you know how the causal affects?  According to WHO, “trees cool the planet by sucking in and storing harmful greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, into their trunks, branches, and leaves, and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. With more than 50% of the world’s population living in cities—a number expected to increase to 66% by the year 2050—pollution and overheating are becoming a real threat. Fortunately, trees can absorb up to 150 kg of carbon dioxide per year, making cities a healthier and safer place to live.”

With these few remarks, I welcome everyone to participate in this tree planting exercise.

 

Thank you and God bless you.